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Oracles acquisition of Netsuite – A just another or…..

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Software major Oracle on Thursday (28th July) announced it was acquiring enterprise cloud services company NetSuite for nearly $9.3 billion in an all-cash deal – a move with which Oracle intends to cement its position in the growing cloud crm market and also reduce the lag by its late entry. The transaction is expected to complete by later this year.

It is the second largest acquisition for Oracle. It had acquired Peoplesoft in 2004 for 10.4bn USD. With Netsuite’s acquisition, Oracle intends to pitch harder against its friend/foe Salesforce. NetSuite has more than 5,000 employees and specializes in accounting and other back-office e-commerce software, particularly for smaller businesses. It has also created online software for manufacturing that is similar to some of Oracle’s software applications. NetSuite was one of the first companies to provide SaaS. It had a market capitalization of $7.37 billion before the deal was announced. In May, NetSuite unveiled software that unifies various accounting functions — for example, billing, revenue recognition, orders and subscriptions — into one system. NetSuite has more than 30,000 customers, the bulk of which are small and mid-size companies.

What could be the next step?

As per Mark Hurd CEO Oracle, the Oracle and Netsuite cloud offerings are complementary and can co-exist in the market for long time. Netsuite on the other hand can leverage Oracles global presence to increase its market breadth. Oracles dominance in database was nowhere influencing the cloud race.In a scenario where it was a late entrant and with a portfolio which was quite lagging behind AWS and Dynamics, it was continuously loosing out in the highly competitive arena of cloud crm. Acquisition of netsuite is a perfect marriage of opportunities. Amidst plethora of crm softwares which have cropped up in the near past, it can be comfortably said that salesforce is the real winner in this round, however with ever changing dynamics of business expectation from CRM, it is not what is now which will be important but what companies will offer is important. The CRM market is more or less matured enough. Today companies do not wish to have crm, manufacturing, accounting etc in silo but want to automate the entire lifecyle of business automated and talking to each other in sync. Most of the new age companies are build around automation. On cloud crm softwares like Uber, OLA, Airbnb etc use the platform to run the business and not sell the platform itself.

G2 Crowd CRM Review & Evaluation

Going forward, we will have two type of cloud buyers, one which is the cash cow industry and other which is  growth engine  to the IT industry. The cash cows are typically on legacy systems with huge DC/DR and multiple applications running in islands. They need to automate themselves to compete with the latest and nimble new comers in the market and hence the pressure on IT vendors to provide automating and seamless integration. Typically these cash cow industries have multiple vendors between the user and manufacturers with each focusing on specific roles. What is lacking here is seamless integration of value chain from one end to end. Vendors like Oracle &SAP which have traditionally been provider of heavy duty erp and database solutions to automate the back-end processes, now need to proved 360 degree view of end users as well and further integrate it seamlessly to the heavy duty engine running behind. Hence the drive to acquire 360 degree crm providers like  netsuite, salesforce etc. What lies ahead is not what netsuite brings on the table upfront but how Oracle leverages its technology to provide more value to its clients who are a cash cow. Here Oracle would try to ensure that these industry giants also evaluates its crm offering as seriously as Salesforce.

The growth engine industry primarily constitutes of those aggregators who depend on the heavy duty manufacturers to provide the anvil on which they grow. For example ola, uber, airbnb etc.. these players do have platform at their core and service as offering. IT vendor see immense opportunity in these players as they ensure that the final need of end users are met in a more user friendly manner. Hence the demand for players like salesforce, netsuite etc. With acquisition of Netsuite, Oracle intends not only to acquire its existing clients but also an opportunity it position its existing offerings and become an end to end vendor. For leading crm providers like salesforce, dynamics etc, to make it to the biggest league it has to foray into the attractive cash cow industry not just with crm offering but penetrate into the erp and database segment which is the biggest pie. For which it has to either have a foolproof strategic relationship with vendors like SAP and Oracle or acquire/invent something revolutionary.

The most probable outcome in the next few year could be acquisition of salesforce as well and then allowing the rest to die a natural death/exist in a niche OR salesforce/some other crm company acquires either Oracle, IBM or SAP and flips the world upsidedown..who knows??

 

Sources: Oracle website, bloomberg, crowd2,wsj

Ingenious OTS & TTS..

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I guess there is no difficult work than managing toddlers and kids. You cannot reason, you cannot full fill all their demands or match their energy and surely would never wish to be on the wrong side of parenting theories. Being engrained with this universal phenomenons I was surprised to find one of our friend’s sons behaving like angels one evening during our usual gathering.  Quite unlike our visits where chaos and noise is part of the gathering, this time it was clean tidy and well behaved.

Intrigued and marvelled by their management we decided to unearth the mystery and implement it at home. She promptly said we have started to implement OTS & TTS an ingenious parenting trick .  Awed by the theory we decided to investigate further, and asked what is OTS & TTS?

With unmatched piousness and ease she replied…oh it means One Tight Slap and Two Tight Slaps depending on  intensity.

I guess in work life as well simple solutions with ingenious branding usually get the work done….

The Rajma Chawal and Net Neutrality

For all us flying executive’s in Delhi NCR one of the very few reliefs is the taste of Rajma-Chawal at Nehru place. net neutralityBesides its divine taste, its surprisingly reasonable. The price  actually fits into the lunch budget of a regular salaried person in Delhi/NCR and just enough spicy to not only tinkle your taste buds but also not spoil your tummy. And ofcourse an efficient supply chain to ensure you don’t have to queue-up for more than 5 mnts. This guy started probably couple of decades back when the area around was yet to be developed. Now, the shop is still more or less similar in ambiance and style.The only thing which has changed in the volume of food sold the area of his vending point and endless list of consumers. And for all us happy consumers of his product, we do not need and wish to know which vendor he sources his raw materials from, which burner he uses to cook and if he actually files all his statutory taxes. Not as long as he is giving us all only one simple healthy reasonable dish an afternoon.

Ironically, the whole world is being a bitter critique to the only person who is willing to take a step forward and serve one simple dish for the segment which actually no one wants to serve. The only person who has invested his money, time, energy for a cause with no upfront and direct benefits. Rest of the learned world is standing by the shore picking many many mistakes and breaches (which may not be entirely wrong though) but not willing to do any anything to address the target market. Everyone feels the need to feed the needy, everyone discusses what how and when to feed the needy but no one wants to invest to feed the needy. Sadly while we all learned janta is fighting over the impact on raw material supplier, its nutritional value while the needy is still going hungry.

Happy 2016

Amidst busy schedule and hectic lifes, difficult husbands strict wifes,
bothering bosses smothering teammates, acting politicians and politically active actors. Between thin lines of tolerance & intolerance, difficult drives & easy road fights,

lets resolute to come together for happiness & peace this coming year and celebrate the spirit of simplicity and humanity..

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The Mobility Conundrum

 

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Why would your company want its employees to use their own mobile devices for work or decide to give mobile devices for official purpose?

I asked this to some of my friends, IT consultants and few decision makers, following are few of the answers;

  1. Except for sales staff, all my employees work from office and I do not intend to have any mobilility solution for my office staff. Sales staff already has mobility solutions
  2. I do not allow people to connect their personal mobile devices or personal devices on company wifi and company network
  3. I trust my sales team and do not monitor their mobile devices (tabs, pads, smart phones etc…). It would be breaching into their personal domain
  4. I do not ask (officially) my sales team to keep official mail or documents on their  mobile devices and neither does our security policy allows it
  5. We have not given any mobile devices to all our staffs, except our senior management and sales team
  6. We have very few remote staff or remote locations and we need not to monitor them so keenly
  7. The data on most of the mobile devices are not sensitive enough and even if lost will not impact hugely.
  8. All our official mobility solutions are either on iphone or blackberry and their in-built offering is sufficient to protect and manage email, which is sufficient for me.

 

Fact is, though BYOD/office sponsored mobile device is fast becoming reality, ground reality is people want to concentrate on their core competency (and relevant technology)and not on IT. Companies today do not need to invest their hard earned money on creating an IT infrastructure which they cannot leverage immediately.

Having said that, knowing tomorrow’s technology landscape and how IT will positively impact their core business is also CXOs look out. If you are not agile today , tomorrow you might be in oblivion. We all might choose to reject it but mobile influx will continue to rise and so will its impact on our day to day business. End point devices will radicalize the way we do business, exactly how, that only time will tell, but it is time we be ready to manage the conundrum.

 

Wireless Communication – A Sneak Peek into the wonderland of Wi-Fi

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Provenance

Year 2004, the Economist published a short featured article “A brief History of Wi-Fi”. To say the least, history of Wi-Fi technology is far more interesting than the astonishing present and an exploding future. What it essentially says is that one of the most disruptive innovations of this century has its origin in the refusals of FCC (Federal Communications Commission) and its bright future will be significantly influenced more by lawyers and negotiators than technologist. All so because, Spectrum is a scarce commodity and probably scarcer than gold, but then it’s a different story to narrate.

Why is it important to know Wi-Fi technology?

To give a perspective, following are some facts from Virtual Networking Index – Global IP Traffic Forecast & Gartner.

  • By 2018, 40 percent of enterprises will specify Wi-Fi as the default connection for non-mobile devices, such as desktops, desk phones, projectors, conference room.
  • More than 50% of all IP traffic will originate from Non-PC devices
  • Traffic from wireless and mobile devices will exceed traffic from wired devices by 2019. Wi-Fi and mobile devices will constitute about 66% of the Internet traffic
What we can construe is that even before we realize, the consumption of Wi-Fi will explode literally shackling us down with security, manageability and throughput issues. Consequently dragging us to either discard or completely replace the legacy system.

What are the wireless technologies prevalent in the market today?

Before we try and plan to pin down the problem, we should know at least have some knowledge about the universe of the problem. There are many types of wireless communication technology around us since its inception in 19th century. Fundamentally there are seven broader types of wireless technology which are frequently used around us:

  1. Wi-Fi – One of the most used and accepted technology allowing users in close proximity to connect to a router
  2. Mobile Communication – Examples PCS, GSM, CDMA, TDMA, through which our mobile phones communicate
  3. Microwave communication: This communication method has two ways, one is terrestrial method (i.e. line of sight) and the other is satellite method.
  4. Radio Broadcast: The first broadcasting technology still largely in use for radio stations, maritime communication etc.
  5. Infrared communication or IR communication, used primarily used for short range communications line tv remote or security control.
  6. Satellite communication: One of the most expensive type of communication used primarily for astronomy, atmospheric study, navigation dish TV etc.
  7. Bluetooth technology: I guess it does not require any introduction after having used in so frequently in our day to day lives.

Among these those which are readily used  for wireless LAN and wireless WAN communication are Wi-Fi Technology and Microwave communication. Here we will broadly explore Wi-Fi technology.

Things to know while you are planning for a high density Wi-Fi solution

 

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Designing an optimal Wi-Fi solution is not rocket science, It’s much like running with a ball in a football field where a successful run is equally a factor of defenses capability, turf, your wife’s mood as your dexterity.  Its dynamic and depends equally on factors which are out of your reach than those which are in your control. However,there are few key factors which drive the performance and once understood enable us to know the “important” give a direction.

Key factors

A) Coverage: Coverage defines the area which you wish to cover for Wi-Fi Connectivity. To begin with, estimate the total area to be covered, followed by the segmentation in the area with wall, false walls, partitions etc. The best way to start with is to get the floor diagram from the facilities team and take note of partitions and segmentations. In case you do not have floor diagram, prepare a rough sketch with dimensions and demarcation about all the partitions. Also note down the type of partitions, a gypsum or glass partition will be having less loss than a brick partition.

         Few key points:

  • Area of the floor: i.e area of the office, warehouse, restaurants, classroom etc and its dimensions                                      (height, length and breadth).
  • Partitioning materials: Glass partitions, concrete partitions, gypsum partitions
  • Height of the ceiling
  • One can easily generate a heat map to understand the coverage pattern.

B) Capacity: Capacity planning is to understand the number of users in the specified area and ensure a good quality service to the users. A good quality service is where all the said and mentioned list of applications are available to the users at an optimal speed.

For capacity planning have a list of the following points;

  • Number of expected users
  • Type of applications to be accessed and throughput required for them
  • Type of clients in the network and their capabilities

Factors which influence coverage are:

  1. Physical Obstruction: More obstruction you have between the device and AP the lower is the throughput. As a rule, the lower the frequency, the better penetration characteristics the waves have. However, it also runs that the higher the frequency, the better the reflective capabilities of the wave, so in some cases reflecting a signal to the receiver may work better than trying to send it through objects i.e. walls.
  2. Network range and distance between devices: Signal strength is inversely proportional to the cube of distance. For example is distance increases by a factor of 2, strength reduces eight times.

C) Throughput: How often do we buy a car without knowing how many people can it seat and what is its mileage? Probably never. For quite similar reasons we need to understand the throughput requirement from our solution.

Three things to know for estimating correct throughput:

  1. Estimate the target application throughput level
  2. Estimate the number of client device types and identify its capabilities (in terms of type of radio in each device and the Wi-Fi Alliance® certifications they have passed (802.11b/g/a/n/ac)
  3. Estimate airtime (=application throughput/device capability). Airtime is measures in %
  4. Finally estimate the total number of access points required for given number of devices ( Airtime x Number of devices)

D) Manageability: Not much time back Wi-Fi was understood as small home or small office solution with limited usability and benefits. However, In the last one decade not only has the technology developed significantly, the consumption method mode and type has also broadened. Contemporary WLANs technology delivers high-speed access to campuses, stadiums, offices, hospitals, schools etc. In many locations, WLANs have started to replace wired ethernet as the primary access method for both mobile and fixed client devices, from laptops and phones to printers and cameras considerably. Tagging along with the exponential growth is the inherent challenge of manageability multiple APs in terms of configuration, installation, fault monitoring and periodic upgrades. The answer to this growing need for manageability and scalability was addressed by Controllers. These allows for easy and quick configuration of multiple AP’s without having to manually configure each and every one. As you might assume, scalability is greatly improved by the addition of a WLAN controller as it easily allows the installation of  more AP’s onto the network and reduces deployment and management complexities. Along with it, at times in locations like mall, airports, stadiums etc where additional features like guest access, pay as you use etc needs to be implemented it becomes an additional challenge. Such requirements are addressed by independent application which work in conjunction with controllers and ensure further billing, monitoring and guest user facilities.

Security: A high density Wi-Fi deployment is never complete without proper provisions and check points for security. Even one rough or ignorant user can bring down your delicately planned and deployed system to standstill. Fortunately all vendors have their controllers embedded with plethora of features and functionalities which can provide robust security system. Also in case where additional security features are required third party software’s are easily available which can seamlessly integrate with any controller.

Source: Aruba & Aerohive high density solution designing white papers.